Intel officially announces its 5G smartphone modem, first appearance expected in 2020

Intel officially announces its 5G smartphone modem, first appearance expected in 2020
5G is slowly gaining momentum as both sides of the connection – network operators and phone manufacturers are working on their solutions to bring us those promised blazing fast speeds. To show that it’s making progress, Intel announced the Intel XMM 8160 5G modem. Qualcomm, Intel’s biggest competitor on the smartphone chip market, announced its own 5G modem more than 2 years ago, but we won’t see it in consumer products until early next year, when the first 5G capable smartphones are expected to hit the market.

It’s not surprising then that Intel’s roadmap isn’t any shorter. The company says that the new chips will be available to phone manufacturers in the second half of 2019 and expects that the first devices with them will be on the market early 2020. And that is only after Intel “accelerated the timing of this modem by pulling in the launch by more than a half-year".

So, what is Intel bringing to the table after taking so much longer to develop its 5G modem? The first thing that stands out is that Intel offers an all-in-one solution when it comes to modems. The XMM 8160 will take care not only for the 5G connectivity, but also older standards: 4G, 3G and even 2G. This, Intel adds with a sly smile, we imagine, differs from “...the two separate modems for 5G and legacy connectivity, as will be introduced in early competing 5G modems.”
 

The single chip will allow for smaller circuit boards, which for smartphones would likely mean more space for batteries, but it will also allow other, smaller smart devices to have 5G connectivity. This is important since one of the biggest advantages of 5G is expected to be the improvements it will bring to the world of Internet-of-things.

Besides compactness, Intel’s 5G modem will bring “peak speeds up to 6 gigabits per second, making it three to six times faster than the latest LTE modems available today”. The chip will support all the necessary bands, from the 600 MHz - 6 GHz range to the so called mmWave frequencies that start from 24 GHz.

Intel’s plans for 5G seem to coincide with the rumors that Apple will introduce the first 5G capable iPhones in 2020. As a reminder, Intel recently became Apple’s sole supplier of modems for the 2018 iPhones, which makes Apple reliant on Intel’s technology for the time being.

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3 Comments

1. Phonehex

Posts: 766; Member since: Feb 16, 2016

We need intel as a chipset competitor also , only then quallcomm will start getting better , quallcomm due to its huge market dominance is just chilling.

2. Peaceboy

Posts: 640; Member since: Oct 11, 2018

Last time android butthurt about iphone having 5G by 2020 and now this.

3. collin3000

Posts: 70; Member since: Apr 28, 2015

Let's hope these aren't on a 14mm node or the wait may been even longer :P

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